“To give what I’ve been up to some context, I thought I’d explain my personal story briefly. I was a reasonably fit – and I thought – healthy ex-rugby player turned bodybuilder, when at age 22 it went a bit wrong. I had a small stroke and suffered kidney damage as a result of a rare autoimmune condition known as antiphospholipid syndrome (APS). It was treated/managed for years until it went very wrong many years later.
I collapsed at home as a result of a major stroke that triggered a catastrophic APS event. This led to kidney failure, adrenal gland failure and then brain infections. I was treated and had residential rehab where I had to relearn everything… I didn’t lose any cognitive function throughout so was/am very aware of my new limitations. It took at least a year of hard work to be able to function independently again. Riding a gym bike was terrifying.
Having said all this I realise I actually gained more than I lost because I value so much more about life. I live life to the best of my ability and simply aim to be better today, than yesterday. The bike is still a scary thing to do…I can only let go with one hand for a few seconds, or I will fall off. I never waste a moment. I want to always know I lived life to the best of my ability.
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